(Yicai Global) Jan. 10 -- Standard Chartered, Tencent Holdings and Ant Financial are among the first seven companies that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority has granted virtual banking licenses to, according to Shanghai Securities News.
The de facto central bank had received 29 applications as of the end of August, but almost a third did not submit enough data to get the license, a HKMA spokesperson told SSN. It began accepting applications in May after announcing the requirements for virtual banks -- which offer retail banking services primarily online.
The authority has not officially released the list of licensees, and none of the three firms have passed comment on the matter.
"The HKMA has put forward about a third of the applicants that had most of the required data for the next round of reviews," he added, saying the candidates hail from a variety of backgrounds, including local and offshore banks, non-banking financial institutions and technology firms.
"The HKMA will more thoroughly review applicants in the next round, assessing their financial status and determining whether their directors, controllers and chief executives are suitable candidates," the spokesperson said.
Editor: James Boynton